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Revelations of JBE knowledge in Ronald Greene matter prompts Facebook posts by St. Tammany murder victim

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Revelations of JBE knowledge in Ronald Greene matter prompts Facebook posts by St. Tammany murder victim

The revelation that Gov. John Bel Edwards knew that Ronald Greene died as the result of a struggle with State Police rather than in his car’s collision with a tree nine hours after the incident has only served to raise anew questions about an Edwards appointee to the State Police Commission and that appointee’s possible connection to the murder of his business partner nearly 10 years ago.

Edwards received a text from then-State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves some nine hours after Greene’s death in May 2019 informing the governor that Greene had died following a struggle with five State Troopers and a deputy from the Union Parish Sheriff’s Department. No mention was made of an auto accident in the text but State Police soon attributed Greene’s death – falsely – to the auto accident. Body cam video which surfaced long after the event clearly show Greene very much alive as he was being beaten, kicked and tased by officers until his body suddenly went limp.

News of the governor’s knowledge of the cause of death prompted Caitlin Cucchiara Picou, daughter of Bruce Cucchiara, who was murdered in New Orleans East on April 24, 2012, to post a message on Facebook that said, “Could JBE be helping another friend in another murder? Or in the least turning a blind eye?”

Her reference was to Jared Caruso-Riecke who Edwards appointed to the State Police Commission in June 2016. Riecke was a business partner of Cucchiara and held a $2 million life insurance policy on Cucchiara through his company, SECO Group, LLC, at the time he was murdered while ostensibly looking at some investment property in New Orleans.

His killer has never been caught and while Caruso-Riecke did submit to one interview with police, he has refused to cooperate and has refused requests for additional interviews.

Picou notes that Riecke made “a sizeable contribution” to JBE’s reelection campaign. Apparently confusing the date of Riecke’s appointment, she then says that once elected Edwards appointed Riecke to the State Police Commission but she appears to tie the appointment to his reelection, which is inaccurate.

“Daniel Edwards, the (Tangipahoa Parish) sheriff of JBE, sits on the board of American Bank & Trust, owned by the Riecke family,” she wrote on Monday.

In another post on Tuesday, she wrote, “What about the person of interest in an open murder investigation you appointed to the Louisiana State Police Commission? Riecke refuses to talk to investigators in the murder of his business partner.

“This is a pattern.”

A Facebook message last September also noted that the Cucchiara’s estate attorney was a man identified as Rod (Julian) Rodrigue and that Rodrigue also served on the board of directors for SECO which was the beneficiary of the $2 million key may policy.

Coverup on the Northshore: The Murder of Bruce Cucchiara

September 29, 2021 · 

Bruce Cucchiara had a $2 million dollar insurance policy on him taken out by the business. The beneficiary of this policy was SECO.

Here is a deposition by Jared Riecke stating who was on the Board of Directors of SECO.

Why is this important? The estate attorney for Bruce’s estate was Rod Rodrigue. So, the estate attorney was also on the BOD for the company that was the beneficiary of the $2 million dollar key man policy.

Bruce Cucchiara had a $2 million dollar insurance policy on him taken out by the business. The beneficiary of this policy was SECO.

Here is a deposition by Jared Riecke stating who was on the Board of Directors of SECO.

Why is this important? The estate attorney for Bruce’s estate was Rod Rodrigue. So, the estate attorney was also on the BOD for the company that was the beneficiary of the $2 million dollar key man policy.

I’ll take their word for it that there was no conflict of interest. 

“I’ll take their word for it that there was no conflict of interest,” the Facebook post concluded.

It’s not the first time that Caruso-Riecke has been involved in an apparent conflict of interests.

His Linkedin page notes that in 2002, he became president and CEO of Southeastern Louisiana Water & Sewer Co. LLC (SELA), a private, family-owned water and waste water utility serving about 64,000 residents in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

In that same Linkedin post, he says he served as a compliance official for several regulatory agencies, “including the Louisiana Public Service Commission.”

Public Service Commission member Foster Campbell, reached in his north Louisiana office, said he had never heard of Caruso-Riecke but that running a utility and serving as a compliance official for the PSC would “not be right.”

Louisiana Secretary of State corporate records also show that Caruso-Riecke also served as the registered agent for Savannah Trace Utility from 2006 until 2009.

State law requires that all appointees to boards and commissions file annual financial disclosure reports with the State Ethics Board. The earliest one found on Caruso-Riecke was dated May 30, 2017, only months after his appointment to the State Police Commission.

No records could be found that indicated he ever served as a compliance officer for any agency. It appears he either misrepresented his experience as a compliance official or neglected to file the required financial disclosure forms.

It is known that his water and wastewater company was under stringent EPA sanctions during the time he claimed to be a compliance official for the PSC, which would been a highly unusual situation – unless he had someone in state government providing questionable waivers for him.

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